This page is for the Orin version of the character, for other uses for the term Aquaman see Aquaman (Disambiguation)
|First Appearance:|| More Fun Comics #73|
|Created by:|| Mort Weisinger|
|Affiliations:|| Justice League|
Black Lantern Corps
Justice League International
Justice League Task Force
|Abilities:|| Master Swimmer|
|Portrayed by:|| Alan Ritchson|
Marvin Miller (voice)
Norman Alden (voice)
Bill Callaway (voice)
Miguel Ferrer (voice)
Scott Rummell (voice)
John DiMaggio (voice)
Josh Keaton (voice)
Matt Lanter (voice)
Aquaman, born as Orin to Atlantis Queen Atlanna and the mysterious wizard Atlan, was abandoned on Mercy Reef as a baby because of his blonde hair, which was seen by the superstitious Atlanteans as a curse they called "the Mark of Kordax." The only one who spoke up on Orin's behalf was Vulko, a scientist who had no time for myth or superstition, and while his pleas had no effect, Vulko would later become a close friend and adviser of Orin's. Orin was found on the reef by dolphins; one of the dolphins, named Porm, took Orin in and became his adopted mother. As a child, Orin was found and taken in by a lighthouse keeper who gave him his own name, Arthur Curry. One day Orin returned to the lighthouse and found Arthur gone, so he set off on his own. In his early teens, Orin ventured to the far north, where he met and fell in love with an Inupiat named Kako. He also first earned the hatred of Orm, the future Ocean Master, who would prove to be his half-brother. He was driven away before he knew Kako had become pregnant with his son, Koryak.
Orin returned to the seas; he crossed paths with humans from time to time but for the most part he stayed well out of the reach of humanity, until a fateful day when Orin happened on the city of his birth, Atlantis. He was captured by the then-dictatorial government of the city and placed in a prison camp. He was helped by Vulko, at the time also a prisoner of the state, who taught Orin the language and ways of the Atlanteans. While Orin was there he realized that his mother was also being held captive, but once she was killed he broke out and fled. Eventually, Orin made his way to the surface world, and became a hero named "Aquaman." From this point on, Aquaman's history mostly follows his Pre-Crisis history outlined above, though with a few differences.
Aquaman made his debut assisting the Flash (Barry Allen), though he did it more because the fight was causing a disturbance than out of any sense of altruism. The Flash convinced Aquaman to become a hero and adopt his name. It was hard on Aquaman at first, learning the customs and ways of the surface world, but his team helped him along. Aquaman and Flash would then go on to be two of the five founding members of the Justice League of America (along with Green Lantern, Black Canary, and Martian Manhunter). Aquaman would briefly become leader of the Justice League and was forced to disband it when breakdowns within the team made it no longer function. This paved the way for he and the Martian Manhunter to reform the team as Justice League Detroit.
When Aquaman eventually returned to Atlantis, he found that the citizens had been inspired to free themselves by his daring escape and that Atlantis was now a free city. Aquaman was recognized as the son of Queen Atlanna and so he became the King of Atlantis. Aquaman began a policy of slowly reintroducing Atlantis to the surface world, though after being ousted by a villain named Shark, he decided to become a more traditional superhero, even though with Shark's defeat he could have ascended the throne again. Around this time, Arthur met and married Mera, a queen from another dimension, and they had a son, Arthur Jr.
Eventually, Aquaman's foe Black Manta kidnapped and ultimately murdered Arthur Jr., causing a rift between Aquaman and his wife. Mera had been driven insane by grief and was soon committed to an asylum in Poseidonis. Shortly afterwards, an alien force conquered Atlantis. Arthur was forced to save the day, and in the process was hampered by an escaped Mera who personally blamed Arthur for the death of their son. In a fit of rage, Mera left Aquaman's dimension. After Atlantis was freed, Arthur knew he had to remain in Atlantis, and thus he resigned from the Justice League. For a time, he served as Atlantis's representative to the United Nations, but always found himself thrust back into the superhero role. Becoming more and more of a workaholic and solitary figure, Aquaman eventually returned to the oceans. He soon became tangled up in Black Manta's latest attempt at destroying Atlantis by dragging it into a war with a surface nation. In the aftermath of the war, Arthur received the Atlantis Chronicles, thus learning all about the history of his people and discovering that Ocean Master was really his half-brother, Orm. With all the chaos in his life, Arthur fell into a bout of severe depression. He retreated to his "Aquacave," having no real interest in Atlantis or superheroics.
New Look and New Attitude
Shortly before Zero Hour, Arthur was forced to return to action, compelled by his longtime partner Aqualad. Shortly into his new adventures, Aquaman lost his hand when the madman Charybdis fights him. Charybdis eventually knocks-out the hero, and drags his body to a machine. Using the machine he steals his ability to communicate with sea life and sticks Arthur's hand in a pool of water teeming with piranhas. This may have caused him to become somewhat unhinged, and Aquaman soon began having prophetic dreams. Aquaman soon after fitted a harpoon for his missing hand, which led to an entirely new look, discarding his classic orange shirt for a silvery piece of armor that only covered the upper right half of his chest and part of his right arm, while growing long hair and a scraggly beard.
Aquaman was also joined by Dolphin after Aqualad disappeared on a solo mission. Early on, Aquaman learned he had an illegitimate son named Koryak upon a visit up north. Aquaman fended off an attack by some villains from Apokolips. Koryak joined his father and returned with him to Atlantis. Aquaman's harpoon was soon destroyed, so Aquaman had it replaced with a cybernetic replacement from S.T.A.R. Labs. This new harpoon had a retractable reel that he could fully control.
Myth and Legends of Atlantis
Koryak's presence would lead to some disastrous results. After the king of Poseidonis was killed in one of a series of earthquakes, Koryak managed to convince the population to follow him on an exodus from the city. Aquaman returned to the empty city with Dolphin and they enjoyed a passionate night—unfortunately for Arthur, Mera returned and walked in on the two! Mera was briefly amnesic to her recent whereabouts (and mad as anything with Arthur for his infidelity). Aquaman and Dolphin pursued her to a nearby trench, where they were pulled into a parallel dimension by Thanatos.
The alien/demonic beings who ruled that dimension pitted Thanatos against Aquaman. When Aquaman refused to kill Thanatos, it was decreed that he must remain until he was sufficiently evil and that Thanatos would be freed to come to Earth. Thanatos expected to find a kingdom to rule, but instead arrived to an empty city. Posing as Aquaman, he declared war on the surface—only to be unexpectedly killed as a consequence of Major Disaster's machinations. Aquaman learned that Mera had been living in this other dimension for about nine years in its time (about one year in the real world) and that she had a son exactly nine months after arriving. The son, A.J., could have been either Arthur's or Thanatos's, since she was under his complete domination at the time. Aquaman managed to contact his father, Atlan, who used his magic to release Aquaman and his friends back onto Earth. Unfortunately, given the difference in time between the two and that A.J. was a native of the other universe, he began to age rapidly. To save his life, Mera took him back through the portal. Aquaman and Dolphin discovered they were beneath Poseidonis—and that the entire domed city rest on top of an enormous, skull shaped spacecraft. The sentient starcraft was pulling itself up from the ocean floor, which had been the source of the recent earthquakes. It finally managed to break through, coming to a stop with Poseidonis resting just above the ocean surface.
Aquaman, having forged a psychic link to the sentient starship, began to have more clairvoyance about what was coming. He sensed that there was an impending alien invasion. Aquaman decided he had to seek out the five lost cities of Atlantis and join them with Poseidonis and Tritonis. Aquaman is confronted before he can begin by the Justice League who are seeking a declaration for "his" declaration of war. Aquaman abruptly turns them away. Aquaman recruited the city of Hy-Brasil without too much trouble. Unfortunately, Aquaman and Dolphin encountered Ocean Master at one of the other cities, a city that was destroyed in the subsequent battle. Also during the battle, Garth returns—Aqualad no longer, he is now Tempest, having been trained by Atlan in another dimension. Aquaman then recruits the cities of Thiena Na Oge and the floating city of Basilia. They also recruit Atlan to their cause and head for Tritonis—all while the aliens (known as the Hunter/Gatherers) turn up in Washington D.C. under the guise of seeking peaceful relations.
Aquaman finds Tritonis in ruins—Koryak and Vulko had led the people of Poseidonis into the forbidden tunnels beneath the city and awakened Kordax from antiquity. Kordax, using his mind control power, forced Koryak and the Poseidonis citizens to attack their relatives in Tritonis, maiming or killing much of the population. Aquaman helped the Tritonis people out before rallying all of his allies for the final confrontation: Atlan, The Guardian of Hy-Brasil, Arion, Tempest, Tsunami, Nuada, Dolphin, the Sea Devils, Power Girl (at this time still thought to be a descendant of Atlantis), Spought(the Guardian of Basilia)and Deep Blue. Aquaman leads the others to Washington D.C. by flying the skull ship (with Poseidonis on top) straight to the capital. A major battle ensues inside the White House with Aquaman's allies battling against Kordax, Tiamat, and Koryak (still under Kordax's control). Kordax kills himself in the battle when he cannot defeat Aquaman. Basilia is destroyed in the fighting that happens there. The Hunter/Gatherers leave the Earth without any further destruction. Around this time, Aquaman becomes a charter member of the new JLA.
The Blonde Curse
During the Final Night, the sentient starship ejects Aquaman, Dolphin, and Koryak (now free of the brainwashing) after having a disagreement with Aquaman (regarding the amount of control the ship was exerting over Arthur). Aquaman's adoptive dolphin mother, Porm, was murdered during the darkness, crushing Aquaman. Following a clue, Aquaman ventures to Japan and discovers that the murderer of Porm was a cyborg called Demon Gate, a man who had been maimed by Lobo and who blamed Aquaman for the incident (events that happened in Aquaman #4). Aquaman threatens to ban Japan from the oceans unless Demon Gate is handed over. Japan refuses. Aquaman recruits Martian Manhunter to retake Poseidonis, forcing the sentient ship to obey him, and then takes the city to Japan. Demon Gate is turned over and Arthur sentences him to life imprisonment on a deserted island, surviving only on what the local sea life bring to him.
Aquaman was called by Deep Blue and the Sea Devils to investigate a seemingly bottomless trench. Deep Blue is dragged into the trench by a bizarre sea creature. Aquaman goes into the pit, but Dolphin cannot follow all the way because of the pressure. Aquaman encounters Black Manta, now a horrible manta-like monster thanks to his deal with Neron. The two arch-enemies battle at the bottom of the trench, encountering the ghost of a dead leviathan. The creature "consumes" Black Manta and tries to do the same with Aquaman, but Arthur uses the full brunt of his psychic abilities to drive it off. Fleeing back up the trench, he retrieves Deep Blue and they return to Sea Devil's sub. Up from the trench, Arthur discovers that his flesh is now covered in scales. Getting called back to Poseidonis, Aquaman finds Shark has taken up residence. A mental battle ensues and Aquaman forces Shark to devolve back into a normal shark. Arthur has now mutated further—hard green scales and a webbed hand, looking just like Kordax.
The sea life begins to fear him. Aquaman goes on a quest of soul searching, reflecting on the fact that his inner fears are that he is a failure as a king and as a man. A minor journey through time thanks to Atlan helps him put things in perspective. Returning to the present, Aquaman's appearance is restored (although his hand is still webbed). Seeking to regain the trust of the sea life, Aquaman appeals to Poseidon who forces Aquaman to battle his son, Triton. Aquaman wins the fight, and Poseidon restores his title as "King of the Seas." A spiteful Poseidon blinds Aquaman in his bitterness. One short adventure with Animal Man later (one that involves Animal Man teaching Aquaman to expand his powers some more) and Arthur's sight was restored.
King of Atlantis Once More
The people of Poseidonis, forced by Aquaman to serve the people of Tritonis whom they maimed, are finally released of their service and return to their city. Aquaman greets them and they accept him as their king once more (while marveling at the state of their city, now resting on the ocean's surface. Vulko encourages thoughts of Koryak that drift towards a coup de tat. Dolphin, having lost all interest in Arthur, now enters into a relationship with Tempest. Dr. Polaris invades the city, using his vast power to turn it on its side. The battle is only won with the help of Maxima, who had come to make Arthur her new king. Aquaman isn't interested, even if she was found appealing with the citizens of Poseidonis. When the Millennium Giants emerge, Aquaman is unable to stop one from destroying Thiena Na Oge.
Meanwhile, Triton—anger over his loss to Aquaman and the contempt his father has for him—kills Poseidon and seizes most of his power. He approaches the Mother of Monsters for aid against Aquaman. Triton attacks Atlan first, but the sorcerer manages to get a warning to Poseidonis. Triton attacks the city next, destroying the sentient ship completely and returning the city to the ocean floor. Aquaman is stabbed in the battle, and his soul travels to the Greek Underworld. He manages to fight his way in to seeing Hades and convinces Hades to allow him and Poseidon back to the land of living. Poseidon takes back his power from Triton before killing his son and casting his trident at Aquaman's feet.
Shortly thereafter, Aquaman has to venture into another dimension to help Mera and A.J. In that other realm, several years have passed, and Mera has become hardened because of a life of constant fighting. A.J. forces Mera to go with Aquaman back to Earth, but she is not interested in reconciling with him after all that has happened between them. Koryak attempts to kill his father and seize control of Atlantis, but he is easily stopped and Arthur has him banished.
The Vicious Sea King
Garth getting Dolphin pregnant and subsequently marrying her, and Arthur reconciling with Mera.
From One War to The Next
Dan Jurgens would become the lead writer beginning with issue number #63, which started a plot thread involving a war between Atlantis and the island nation of Cerdia. This war would result in the utter devastation of both Poseidonis and Tritonis as well as ravaging Cerdia as well. It was revealed during the course of the war that the Ocean Master was behind Cerdia's aggression. He also kidnaps Tempest and Dolphin's son right after the boy is born. The war is eventually won, Ocean Master is driven off, and Cerdia is annexed by Atlantis. As a token of peace, Tempest and Dolphin name their son Cerdian (nicknamed "Ian").
Atlantis had not fully recovered from the war with Cerdia when it was drawn into another conflict. This one involved the coming of Imperiex, a force of nature that was coming to destroy the planet. An intergalactic alliance of aliens came together to make their stand at Earth. The JLA big guns were quickly swept aside by Imperiex's advance force. Aquaman gave his all against one of the probes, battling it over Poseidonis. An explosion resulted and when the water cleared, Atlantis was gone and a great rift in the ocean remained. It was originally thought that the city was destroyed with a loss of all those in it, but it was soon discovered that Tempest has used his magical abilities to send the city somewhere through time to protect it. The JLA eventually rallied together and embarked on a mission through time to rescue Atlantis—and Aquaman.
The Obsidian Age: In search of Aquaman
The JLA learned that Aquaman had long ago planned a contingency should anything ever threaten to obliterate Atlantis—take the citizens into the ancient past, to the golden age of Atlantis about 3000 years before. The city was still under the sea at that time, and the belief was that the people would welcome them there as lost kin. Tempest triggered the spell, but instead of a paradise, the Atlanteans encountered sorrow and suffering. In the past, they found a lost piece of history, when a blonde-haired sorceress had raised Atlantis. She enslaved the future Atlanteans and submerged (literally) Arthur's consciousness into a pool of water. Fifteen years passed before the JLA showed up—but by then, the evil sorceress had prepared a line of defense. The league battles in both the past and the present. Finally, Aquaman is freed, and as King of Atlantis he exacts a punishment upon those in the past, forcing the island back beneath the waves and reverting the people back into water breathers.When everyone is returned to the present, Mera announces that there must still be a reckoning—even though he did it with good intentions, Aquaman is still responsible for the sinking of Atlantis and for much of the suffering endured by its people. He agrees to be put on trial for treason.
This caused displeasure among Atlantis' denizens, and they drove Aquaman out of Atlantis; Aquaman afterwards spent some time in Ireland, including meeting the Lady of the Lake, who gives him a new prosthetic hand composed of magical water. From there he returned to his more classic look: orange shirt, clean-shaven, and short hair.
Even more recently, Aquaman went to San Diego when the city suffered a massive earthquake that plunged half of it into the Pacific Ocean. Aquaman soon discovered that the survivors of the catastrophe were able to breathe underwater, and started to help the survivors rebuild their submerged portion of the city (now called "Sub Diego"). During this time, Aquaman picked up a new sidekick named Lorena, who makes herself into the new Aquagirl. There have been indications that Aquaman may reconcile with Mera.
One Year Later
During the event a year later, much of the population of Sub Diego has lost the ability to breathe underwater. To save his friends, Aquaman made a covenantwith the Gods of the Sea to be able to return to the surface of Sub Diego. The gods gave him powers to do so, but as a consequence, Orin was transformed into a creature that looks like an old man with tentacles, he then became the Dweller of the Depths and became the tutor of the new Aquaman.
Later shot dead by Narwhal, a young man with no memory that has been manipulated by the Bishop of the Deep Church.
The Blackest Night
Orin was revived as one of the Black Lanterns whereby his hand has been restored to his corpse. Aquaman was among the twelve people revived by the White Lantern Central Power Battery at the dawning of the Brightest Day.
Aquaman reunites with Mera in Amnesty Bay. During an attack on Somalian pirates, he discovers that he's retained his Black Lantern ability to command undead sealife. Mera's twin sister Siren returns from their dimension leading a Death Squad. They attack them in the Bermuda Triangle, and Mera confesses that she was originally sent to Atlantis to murder Arthur. Her home dimension of Xebel is revealed to have actually been a penal colony holding separatists who waged war against Atlantis. The Entity appears again when Deadman gains control of the White Lantern, and his voice commands Aquaman to find Jackson Hyde. Mera reveals that she already knows the child, and he's Black Manta's son.
Arthur stops Manta and Siren from murdering the boy's adopted father after he charges Mera with finding someone to help protect the surface world from her people. They escape together with Mr. Hyde and discover that part of Jackson's birthright is a map. This leads them to an ancient suit of battle armor with Waterbearers to control his powers; Aquaman compels Jackson to follow his destiny and help imprison the armies of Xebel. They make their stand at the beginning of the Aquawar when Siren leads hundreds of Xebel soldiers to march against surface-dwellers on the beaches. Black Manta appears again and chops his hand off with a butchering knife. Jackson cauterizes his wound, and Mera pushes her hard-water powers past their limits to destroy the enemy force in a massive tidal wave. Underwater they are decimated by Aquaman's army of undead sea creatures, and Jackson uses his new powers to turn the barrier back on imprisoning Manta and the colony of Xebel in the Bermuda Triangle again. His mission completed, the Entity restores Arthur's life back to him completely and then vaporizes him. He is converted into one of the four Elementals representing water, alongside Firestorm representing fire, Hawkman and Hawkgirl representing wind, and Martian Manhunter representing earth.
The Entity explains that his greater purpose was to bring them together so they could protect humanity from the Dark Avatar, a version of Swamp Thing whose connection to the Green had been tainted by Nekron. Their presence staves him off long enough to resurrect Alec Holland. Holland is transformed into the new Swamp Thing and destroys his evil counterpart, becoming the new avatar of the White Lantern Corps. Aquaman is returned to normal with his hand repaired. Reexamining the weapons Xebel used when he returns, he realizes they are Atlantean in origin.
In the alternate timeline of the Flashpoint event, Aquaman was brought back to Atlantis when he was a teenager, due to the death of his grandfather. As a result, the young Arthur never learned compassion and kindness from his father, who was killed by the Atlantean agents sent to recover him. In the present day, Aquaman and all of Atlantis wage war against Wonder Woman and the Amazons. He caused Western Europe to sink into the sea killing over 60 million people, intending to sink England as well and is later seen alongside his brother, the Ocean Master, in the flooded remains of Paris where they attack the pirate Deathstroke and his crew members Sonar, Icicle, and Clayface. After taking them out, Aquaman then left the pirate Deathstroke to die, as he had other work to do.
However, Deathstroke survives with the help of Sonar. The war against the Amazons started when Diana's mother, Hippolyta, was killed on Aquaman and Diana's wedding day, and in an act of retribution, Wonder Woman later killed Mera who had apparently married Aquaman. The wedding was going to happen after Atlantis was discovered by the Amazons when Aquaman saved and healed Diana when she was wounded by a sea creature. Both of the races then revealed themselves to the outside world. The death of Hippolyta was however revealed to be a casualty of war as the real target was Wonder Woman. A plot between Orm and Penthesleia to prevent the union of Aquaman and Wonder Woman was also revealed. In the present, Aquaman reassigns Siren and Ocean Master to assassinate Terra in New Themyscira. The mission failed, with Siren being killed by Diana's aunt, Penthesleia. The Amazonian Furies then attack the reinforcements led by Aquaman, who is confronted in battle by their leader, Wonder Woman. During their struggle, Wonder Woman tells him that they have both been deceived. She discovers that his brother Ocean Master kissing Penthesileia are both responsible for the war between the Atlanteans and the Amazons and that it was a ruse planned by them.
The Atlanteans decide to go to the surface, but their attack is backfired by Ocean Master, so Aquaman believes Diana had set a trap. She escapes from Aquaman, who refuses her word. Aquaman then arrives on New Themyscira. A final battle is waged between Emperor Aquaman and Wonder Woman; however, they are both approached by the Flash and the heroes, who are there to stop the war. However, Enchantress betrays the heroes and starts a massacre, killing everybody in sight. Then, Kal-El, stomps Enchantress, killing her, and charges into Aquaman and Wonder Woman at the final battle. Finally, the Flash restores the original timeline, yet radically changes it.
In this new timeline, he is still a charter member of the Justice League with revised origins. Aquaman begins protecting Boston, where he quickly develops a more positive reputation than his negative public image. He decides to completely abandon Atlantis, choosing instead to pursue a life on land with Mera. The city is attacked by a carnivorous underwater species called The Trench and they fight off the invasion. Many humans are taken captive during the slaughter. His former mentor Stephen Shin is the only man who can help discover their whereabouts, and they visit him for guidance despite Shin having tried to kill Arthur. Descending into the Marianas Trench, they discover the predators dying out and desperately trying to feed their children in the remnants of an Atlantean craft. They save the captives, and Aquaman reluctantly causes the Trench's extinction to prevent further loss of human life. One of the creatures saved is a homeless dog who they decide to take in, calling him Aquadog. The Navy discovers an ancient black box aboard the craft, and Atlantean soldiers assault their base to take it back. Aquaman strands himself in the desert takes their aircraft down during escape, and receives a centuries-old warning from the device before getting rescued. Mera has difficulty adjusting to surface life.
Later, Aquaman and Mera visit Shin once more to ask him about who sank Atlantis, when suddenly, Ya'Wara, an old friend of Aquaman's, attacks Shin. Mera stops her, and Aquaman prevents Mera and Ya'Wara from fighting each other. Ya'Wara tells Aquaman that Kahina the Seer has been killed by Black Manta, who has taken the Seal of Clarity.
Aquaman and Ya'Wara teleport to Brazil, where they find Kahina's corpse. They discover that Manta has stolen the Seal of Clarity, one of the Atlantean relics. Aquaman and Ya'Wara decide to warn the Others, but they are suddenly attacked by Manta's henchmen. After defeating Manta's hunters, Aquaman and Ya'Wara teleport to Germany, where Another, the Prisoner-of-War, is located. Manta wants to obtain the Prisoner's manacles, which also are Atlantean relics. After a small chase, Aquaman encounters Manta. As Aquaman meets up with Ya'Wara and the Prisoner, Manta steals Ya'Wara's necklace and escapes.
The Others are reunited in the Operative's plane, the Living Room, where the Operative informs them that Manta is planning to steal the seventh relic, the scepter of the Dead King. The Others travel to the Dead King's tomb to stop Manta. Aquaman, Mera and the Others fight Manta and his forces, who have kidnapped Dr. Shin. Vostok dies protecting Aquaman from Manta's attack. Aquaman and his allies track Manta down as he is delivering the scepter to an Atlantean stranger, who Aquaman believes to be Orm. Although Aquaman defeats Manta, the stranger escapes with the scepter.
Throne of Atlantis
Aquaman believes Orm was the one behind the Atlantean black box theft and Black Manta's acitivities. Orm denies any involvement and wishes happiness to Arthur. Later, a missile test conducted by the U.S. Army goes wrong and the missiles are detonated near Atlantis. Later, a tsunami strikes the United States East Seaboard. The Justice League intervenes to prevent casualties and Aquaman tells Batman that Atlantis has declared war on the surface world. Aquaman, Mera and Batman work together to rescue victims when a tidal wave hits Gotham City. As they travel to meet up with the Justice League, Aquaman and Batman discuss Orm's plans to invade the surface world. As the Justice League gathers, Aquaman wants to stop the attack peacefully, but Orm appears on the coast. Conflicted between his loyalties to the Justice League and Atlantis, Aquaman wants both sides to stand down but Orm orders his forces to attack. Orm imprisons the Justice League in pods and vanishes them to the ocean floor. With the help of Cyborg and Mera, the Justice League escapes and returns to the surface. As he talks with Cyborg, Aquaman realizes Orm is not responsible for the missile attack on Atlantis and someone else started the war. Aquaman and the Justice League discover Vulko was the one who started the war in the first place.
After Aquaman left Atlantis, Vulko was exiled and now wants revenge. Aquaman and the Justice League return to Boston and engage Orm and his forces. As the two brothers come to blows, Aquaman attempts to reason with Orm, saying that Vulko was responsible for the attack on Atlantis. Orm refuses to stand down, forcing Aquaman to becoming the king of Atlantis once more. In that moment, the Trench begin attacking both sides. Using the scepter of the Dead King, Aquaman sends the creatures back into the ocean, ending the war. Aquaman also orders the arrests of both Vulko and Orm. Knowing he must fulfill his responsibilities as king, Aquaman must return to Atlantis, asking Mera to come with him, but she is unsure. By becoming king, Aquaman tries maintain peace between the surface and Atlantis, and talks with Amanda Waller about humans smuggling Atlantean technology.
Return of the King
Aquaman and his soldiers mount operations all over the world to recover stolen Atlantean technology from human smugglers and bring the smugglers to justice. Talking with the captured Vulko, Aquaman discovers one of these smugglers is the Scavenger, an old enemy Aquaman had thought dead. Searching for the Scavenger, Aquaman and his forces find his submarine, but the Scavenger has already left. Inside, they find an injured Atlantean, so Aquaman orders the man to be taken home. After taking the injured Atlantean to the medical bay, Aquaman recieves news that Mera has disappeared inside the Bermuda Triangle. He travels to the Bermuda Triangle and reaches the kingdom of Xebel, Mera's homeland. There, he comes face to face with the Dead King, who has imprisoned the entire city on ice.
Aquaman frees Mera from the ice and they fight the Dead King together, but the Dead King orders the people of Xebel to fight for him. The Dead King reveals that Aquaman is not his descendant; the truth is that Aquaman's ancestors killed the Dead King's family. As the Dead King takes Aquaman's trident, Aquaman and Mera escape back to Atlantis and find the city is under attack by the Scavenger's fleet. Aquaman summons Topo, a massive underwater creature, to destroy the Scavenger's forces but the strain of controlling Topo causes him to pass out just as the Dead King arrives at Atlantis. Growing a beard, Aquaman awakens six months later under Vulko's care in Antarctica. Vulko takes Arthur to an underground chamber in Antarctica that reveals the Dead King's entire story.
His name was Atlan, and his was the first king of Atlantis, but his brother Orin betrayed him and took the throne of Atlantis for himself. Atlan used the trident to sink Atlantis into the ocean. Aquaman learns that he and his family actually descended from Orin, Atlan's brother.< Using the scepter, Arthur commands the Trench to liberate Atlantis and rescue Mera and any Atlanteans loyal to him. After a lengthy brawl, Arthur kills the Dead King and destroys the scepter, being acknowledged as the king of Atlantis once again. After shaving his beard, Aquaman and Mera choose to keep leading Atlantis and fighting to maintain peace between sea and land.
Powers and Abilities
All of Aquaman's powers are at their peak while he is underwater or significantly saturated. While on land, his power levels diminish over time. Once he is dehydrated, his abilities will rapidly diminish, and more than 24hrs without contact with water will completely debilitate him.
- Atlantean Biological Adaptation: The Atlanteans are an offshoot of humanity that is biologically adapted to the deep ocean environment. For most Atlanteans, this means that they can breathe underwater, endure the pressures of the deep (among other adaptations), and can only spend a very limited time out of water. Aquaman's physiology allows him to spend considerably more time out of water before he dehydrates. Although his physical strength diminishes considerably after two hours out of water, he still possesses superhuman (and Super-Atlantean) levels of strength, speed, endurance and durability, all by-products of his body being adapted to survive unprotected in the tremendous pressures of the ocean depths, as well as a by-products of his being an offspring of the wizard Atlan. Although other Atlanteans possess similar adaptations, Aquaman is super-Atlantean as well as super-human, and as such, has greater physical capabilities than does a typical Atlantean.
- Amphibious Nature: Aquaman, as an Atlantean, and the son of the wizard Atlan and Atlantean queen, can breathe both water and air, but must return to the aquatic environment at various intervals; this length can be prolonged by the humidity in the atmosphere above the ocean's surface.
- Enhanced Sight: His ability to see in the murky depths of the ocean allows him exceptional night vision while on land. He has claimed that his eyes are adapted to see at 6,000 fathoms (or 36,000 feet below the surface of the water).
- Enhanced Hearing: several times more acute than human capacity.
- Enhanced Smell: several times more acute than human capacity.
- Superhuman Strength: Aquaman possesses superhuman strength on the order of 150 times human maximum (assuming a human max of 750 lbs, meaning approximately 60 tons) while on dry land and not surffering from extreme dehydration. His strength is oftentimes underrated, considering the company that he keeps (Superman, Captain Marvel, Martian Manhunter, etc.). His strength is more than a match for most common barriers such as wood, common metals, brick or concrete walls. Only steel reinforced barriers have a serious chance of slowing him for any length of time. Aquaman frequently displays various feats of Super-Atlantian (the average Atlantian can lift/press approximately 1 ton) and thus, superhuman strength. While not on par with Superman or Captain Marvel, he has proven capable of performing standing high jumps of 4 stories (both on land and from water), lifting and throwing a tank (at least 25 tons), and has held his own in hand to hand combat with Wonder Woman. His strength level increases considerably depending on how saturated he is, or when he is immersed in water. While underwater, Aquaman has proven capable of lifting a considerable chunk of a city block in Sub-Diego (which would weigh several hundred tons), and has proven capable of shifting an oil rig platform which would weigh a few hundred tons as well. In the post-Flashpoint DCnU, Aquaman has displayed the ability to lift a cruise liner overhead, which weighs in the neighborhood of 100,000 tons.
- Superhuman Endurance: Aquaman possesses endurance and stamina that allows him to swim up to 200 mph for at least a 6 hour period without significant breaks for rest or recuperation. If he wished to extend this period of travel at reduced speeds he could "ride" or be towed by dolphins or other fast-swimming animals until he was rested. Aquaman is also capable of swimming at much faster speeds for shorter periods.
- Superhuman Durability: Aquaman's enhanced physiology enables him to withstand impacts that would kill and ordinary human, and critically injure an average Atlantean. He has been seen in ocean depths as deep as 20,000 feet (3.79 miles) below the surface of the water. That amount of pressure is 800 atmospheres, which is enough to turn an ordinary human into a smear of blood and bonedust. It seems that Aquaman has been able to travel as deep as 36,000 feet (6.82 miles) considering that he claims that his eyes have been adapted to see at that depth. He is not completely durable against small arms but his skin cannot be punctured with sharp objects or bullets, and is able to take a direct hit without incapacitation.
- Superhuman Speed: Said to be the fastest thing underwater, he is capable of swimming at a consistent speed of 150 knots (175 mph) for several hours. Aquaman can travel at much faster speeds for short "sprints." He has also been seen swimming at 10,000 feet per second, or at twice the aquatic speed of sound (roughly 6800 mph). It's unknown how long he can keep up that amount of speed though. With his incredible speed in the water, Aquaman is able to create giant whirlpools.
- Superhuman Reflexes: While no super-speedster, Aquaman's reflexes are superior to even exceptional metahumans such as Deathstroke the Terminator, and are on the order of 12-15 times faster than a normal human. Aquaman is obvilusly an accomplished swimmer, whose stroke form and efficiency is easily superior to any human Olympic level athlete.
- Marine Telepathy: Aquaman has the ability to communicate directly with sea life and has done so throughout most of his life. Lately he possesses a greater range of control that can actually force sea creatures to obey his whims. Currently, he requests their assistance and they comply. He has chosen to continue to request since, if he forces them to comply, they will ultimately lose respect for him. He now also has access to a quantum field phenomenon called "the Clear". "The Clear" quantum phenomenon has been observed with the subject called the Swamp Thing who called it the Green or the Morphogenic Field of Animal Man (also called the Red). Aquaman is also an accomplished telepath in general and can perform such telepathic feats as mind to mind communication, mind probes, mental domination of a non-aquatic mind, and mental attacks. The potency of such mental domination is unclear but he has been seen to use his powers to great effect against the White Martians and Doctor Polaris.
- Access to the Clear: Aquaman has the ability to sense the primal emotions of aquatic creatures through "The Clear". The Clear seems to function as a universal consciousness of all sea life. Via it he can communicate or command sea life on the other side of the planet. He can see what they see and much more what he is only beginning to realise. He can also push his telepathic powers to reach out to the higher land creatures to find that element of their brains that was once an aquatic dwelling creature. This may account for Aquaman's facility with language.
- Energy-Heat Resistance: Aquaman is extremely resistant to energy/heat based attacks as he has with stood multiple blasts from Amazo's heat vision, Black Manta's heat beams, and energy blasts from an Omac.
- Sonar Location: A sonar power which allows Aquaman to detect things when blinded. A possible side effect of his gift from Posidon or from the nature of his advanced mental powers, Aquaman can use this sonar-like sense to detect objects much as a dolphin might. The range of this power is unknown.
- Water Sense: He has a sixth sense of "feeling" flowing water over 47 feet away through any kind of surface or material and in any direction.
- Superhuman Equilibrium
- Sorcery: his mutation into the dweller of the Deep through a bargin with ancient sea gods gave him untold amounts of ancient magics.
- Master Swimmer: Aquaman is an excellent swimmer
- Expert Combatant: Aquaman excels at hand-to-hand combat and overall martial ability.
- Expert Tactician: He has an advanced strategic sense, and has natural leadership qualities.
- Accomplished Diplomat: His natural autocratic nature does not suit him well in environments where democracy is an issue but Orin is a natural commander and his ability has served him well in the protection of Posidonis.
An approximation of Aquaman's strength would put his lifting/pressing capacity of at least 60 tons while on land, depending on how long he has been out of water. While underwater, Aquaman has been observed to possess even greater strength, and he has proven capable of lifting weights in excess of 1,000 tons.
- Water Deprivation: Aquaman must return to water after a period of time or he will weaken.
- Waterbearer Abuse: Overuse of the Waterbearer Hand for violent means will cause the Thirst to attack the Secret Sea.
- Black Lantern Power Ring
- White Lantern Power Ring
- Waterbearer Hand: given to him by the Lady of the Lake. The hand was magical in nature and possessed various abilities.
- Molecular Manipulation: Aquaman can alter the shape and density of the hand.
- Hydrokinesis: The hand gives its user vast oceanic shifting capabilities, splitting tidal waves and creating water constructs.
- Healing: It possesses healing properties.
- Farsight: Can be used as a scrying pool.
- Negate Magic: Can negate other magics.
- Prolong Adaptation: Significantly increases the time Aquaman can spend out of water.
- Independent Life: The hand can be separated from Aquaman and continue to work.
- Amplifies Telepathy
- Cybernetic Hand: Aquaman's left hand was eaten by piranha and was replaced with a harpoon. When that harpoon was later destroyed, S.T.A.R. Labs engineered a multifunction prosthetic. Its primary weapon, a retractable harpoon, can be drawn into its casing to be temporarily replaced with a prosthetic hand. The The harpoon line made of a tungsten steel cable that is capable of supporting 2 tons without breaking. It has also been equipped with the ability to carry an powerful electrical charge. The harpoon, made of a high-grade hardened vanadium-titanium alloy, can be made to spin at high speeds and act as a drill, launched at an opponent to entangle them, or to wrap around an object to prevent a fall. Recently, Orin has a new prosthetic hand that functions as his normal hand does, but it is able to form limited types of bladed weapons with a direct application of his will. The material is unknown and the source of that hand has not been revealed.
- Harpoon: normally had a harpoon attached to a retractable line that he can use to fire at ranged targets.
- Cybernetic Weapon Alteration: Can be altered to form weapons
- Coming Soon
In Other Media
- He was also a major character in the original season of the animated television series Super Friends (1973). Super Friends is often credited with having exposed Aquaman to a much wider audience outside of the comic book community. In this series, Aquaman was shown to display superstrength—hefting a bulldozer blade over his head, for example, and using it to help stop a tidal wave. He also had encyclopedic knowledge of oceanography and oceanology, in addition to his more familiar water-breathing power and aquatic telepathy. However, this series been blamed for making Aquaman unpopular by and even laughable by reinforcing a weak image of the character. In the first two seasons of Super Friends, he was voiced by Norman Alden, and for the rest of the series he was voiced by Bill Callaway.
- Aquaman was one of the guest appearances in Superman: The Animated Series, in episode A Fish Story. In this episode Metropolis is attacked by sea creatures, because Aquaman was kidnapped by Lex Luthor for their genetic experiments. He's voiced by Miguel Ferrer.
- As seen in the Batman Beyond episodes "The Call: Part 1" (airdate November 11, 2000) and "The Call: Part 2" (airdate November 18, 2000), Aquaman's daughter Aquagirl is a member of a future Justice League. During the episode, Terry McGinnis/Batman goes over profiles of the current Justice League members. According to Aquagirl's profile, Aquaman is currently missing.
- In the Justice League animated TV Series aired Aquaman appears in episodes "The Enemy Below" and "The Terror Beyond" voiced by Scott Rummell.
- Aquaman reappears in the new Justice League animated series Justice League Unlimited, in episode "Wake the Dead", where along the Justice League tries to defeat a resurrected Solomon Grundy by the magic of chaos.
- Alan Ritchson reprised his role as Arthur Curry/Aquaman for a cameo appearance in the animated film Justice League: The New Frontier, based on the graphic novel DC: The New Frontier. In this film, he is referred to as "Arthur of Atlantis". He and some Atlantean doctors were seen treating Superman's injuries.
DC Extended Universe
- Aquaman also appeared in the Justice League Task Force Super Nintendo Entertainment System and Sega Mega Drive video game as well as in Aquaman: Battle for Atlantis for Xbox and GameCube.
- Aquaman appeared as an unlockable character in the Justice League Heroes game for Xbox and PlayStation 2. He can be unlocked by paying 27 orange shields when collected. His powers are chiefly water-based, creating hard water weapons such as a sword, whirlpool tornadoes and water-blasts.
- The prequel comic book for the video game Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe shows that Arthur Joseph was one of the many characters killed by the violent merger of the two earths prior to the beginning of the game.
- Aquaman appears as a supporting character in Batman: The Brave and the Bold – The Videogame, voiced by John DiMaggio.
- Aquaman appears in the DC Universe Online video game voiced by Jens Anderson. Circe ends up mind-controlling Aquaman into attacking the surface world causing the players to assist Martian Manhunter into fighting both of them. When under the control of Circe, Aquaman is served by Brine Hatchlings, Brine Hulks, Cancer Makos, Cancer Threshers, Kitefins, Pisces Makos, Sandtigers, Scorpio Kitefins, Scorpio Makos, Threshers, Tidepool Kitefins, Tigersharks, Whitetips, and a Trident of Poseidon.
- Aquaman appears as a unlockable character in Lego Batman 2 DC Super Heroes. He was one of the ones being monitored by Martian Manhunter. He can be found by Gothem Beach. He can shoot water from his trident and swim under water. He can be purchased for 125 studs after the player collects 50 Gold bricks and buids a Gold door.
- Aquaman appears as a playable character in the game Injustice Gods Among Us.